Mar del Plata 2012 : A cooling down

by Albert Silver
10/16/2012 – The fifth round at the 7th Continental marked a cooling down on all levels. On the one hand, the thermometer took a dive and everyone was greeted by heavy mists, and wet air. In the tournament, seventeen leaders were whittled down to only four at 4.5/5: Granda Zuniga, Iturrizaga, Bruzon Batista, and Valerga. Round five report with pictures and game commentary by GM Sergio Slipak.

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7th Continental Chess Tournament / Mar del Plata 2012

Tourney type: Eleven-round swiss open
Time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game and a 30 second increment as of move one.
Location: Mar del Plata, Argentina
Dates: October 12-21, 2012
Prizes: 1st - US$5000, 2nd - US$3400, 3rd - US$2400, 20 prizes in all, not including prizes per category.

Special: Event is considered a world championship qualifier thus all norms earned are worth double.

Mar del Plata 2012 : A cooling down

Report and pictures by Albert Silver


A group picture of the arbiters who have done an outstanding job. Watching them, one
notices they are not content to just be quick and efficient, they handle the crowd of
children, noisy fans, and disgruntled losers with good cheer, patience and understanding.

The fifth round at the 7th Continental marked a cooling down on all levels. On the one hand, the thermometer took a dive and everyone was greeted by heavy mists, and wet air. To call it humid would be too light a term since the minute one went outside, there was a sensation of wetness just one notch short of a drizzle. This added to the feeling of cold, but even so, as it was not outright raining, the locals and many visitors had no qualms on going out for a stroll.


Peruvian GM Julio Grand Zuniga has been a domineering force in South America for many years


Cuban GM Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez Isan

As to the tournament, going into the round, seventeen players had been on a similar hot streak, sharing a strong 3.5/4, but by the end of the day only four stood at 4.5/5, with a giant pack of nineteen at 4.0/5. Still, with eleven rounds in all, anything goes. Edging out the leaders on tiebreak is top South American player, the brilliant Peruvian GM Julio Grand Zuniga, followed by the 23-year-old Venezuelan GM Eduardo Iturrizaga, top-seed Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista, and local hero of the moment: Argentine GM Diego Valerga.


A scene that typifies chess players


FM Haroldo Cunha dos Santos


IM Christian Toth has a stretch

Annotated game by GM Sergio Slipak

[Event "VII Continental Americano"] [Site "Mar del Plata, ARG"] [Date "2012.10.14"] [Round "4.10"] [White "Toth, Christian Endre"] [Black "Hernandez Guerrero, Gilberto"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2357"] [BlackElo "2531"] [Annotator "Sergio Slipak"] [PlyCount "54"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] {In the fourth round, the Mexican GM Gilberto Hernandez, who has resided in Argentina for a number of years, showed good form in his win over the Brazilian IM Christian Toth.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Qe7 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. Nf3 Bxd2+ 7. Nbxd2 {Positionally, the natural way to capture would be with the queen, to allow the knight to develop to c3, however this would run into tactical issues.} (7. Qxd2 Ne4 $1 8. Qc2 Qb4+ $1 9. Nc3 (9. Nbd2 {would be worse.} Nxd2 {and White loses a pawn.} 10. Qxd2 (10. Nxd2 Nxd4) 10... Qxc4) 9... Nxc3 10. Qxc3 Qxc3+ 11. bxc3 {Black has a comfortable endgame in view of White's poor pawn structure.}) 7... O-O 8. O-O d6 9. e4 e5 10. d5 Nb8 { Gilberto plays the classic plan for black in this line: right after exchanging the dark-squared bishop, he places his pawns on those squares to give his remaining bishop free rein.} 11. Ne1 a5 12. Nd3 Na6 13. Qc2 {White needs to be careful, since if he is not active enough, he can quickly be inferior as a result of his "bad" bishop being boxed in by the pawns. As a rule, the best plan is to take all the space possible, since that is White's main trump.} ({ A typical maneuver is} 13. f4) 13... Bd7 14. b3 c6 $1 {If we agree that Black's problem is his lack of space then his goal should be to fight to recover it.} 15. dxc6 Bxc6 16. Rac1 h6 17. Rfe1 Rfc8 18. Nb1 {Aiming for c3, from which it can effectively control the b5 and d5 squares.} b5 $1 {Gilberto continues to grow on the queenside.} 19. Qd2 $6 ({Correct was} 19. cxb5 Bxb5 20. Nc3) 19... b4 $1 {Effectively highlighting the poor placement of the knight on b1.} 20. a4 $2 {A mistake that loses material.} bxa3 21. Nxa3 {If we look at the pawns on b3 and e4 we can easily see that both are tactical weaknesses since both are attacked an equal number of times: e4 is attacked twice and defended twice, while b3 is waiting to be attacked. If we can create a further threat to both these points, White may find defending them overwhelming.} Qb7 $1 {The game is now over.} 22. Rb1 Nxe4 23. Qe3 Ng5 { Creating a decisive attack on the long diagonal.} 24. h4 Bxg2 25. hxg5 hxg5 26. Nb5 Rd8 27. Kh2 g4 0-1


Once the games are over, the players head to the analysis area


The prizes

Standings after five rounds

Rk
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB 
1
GM
Granda Zuniga Julio E
PER
2647
4.5
15.0
2
GM
Iturrizaga Eduardo
VEN
2639
4.5
14.5
3
GM
Bruzon Batista Lazaro
CUB
2717
4.5
14.0
4
GM
Valerga Diego
ARG
2485
4.5
14.0
5
GM
Mekhitarian Krikor Sevag
BRA
2503
4.0
15.0
6
IM
Tristan Leonardo
ARG
2442
4.0
14.5
7
GM
Ortiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo
CUB
2579
4.0
14.5
8
GM
Bacallao Alonso Yusnel
CUB
2580
4.0
14.0
9
FM
Julia Ernesto
ARG
2370
4.0
14.0
10
IM
Hungaski Robert Andrew
USA
2451
4.0
14.0
11
GM
Leitao Rafael
BRA
2617
4.0
13.5
12
GM
Hernandez Guerrero Gilberto
MEX
2531
4.0
13.0
13
FM
Fabian Gaston
ARG
2344
4.0
13.0
14
IM
Roselli Mailhe Bernardo
URU
2430
4.0
12.5
15
IM
Diaz Hollemaert Nahuel
ARG
2408
4.0
12.5
16
IM
Krysa Leandro
ARG
2381
4.0
12.5
17
GM
Kaidanov Gregory S
USA
2587
4.0
12.0
18
GM
Felgaer Ruben
ARG
2579
4.0
12.0
19
Martinez De Negri Gonzalo
ARG
2123
4.0
12.0
20
GM
Cori Jorge
PER
2522
4.0
11.5
21
GM
Slipak Sergio
ARG
2447
4.0
11.5
22
IM
Rosito Jorge
ARG
2387
4.0
10.5
23
FM
Fulgenzi Ernesto
ARG
2344
4.0
9.0
24
GM
Mareco Sandro
ARG
2581
3.5
15.5
25
GM
Ricardi Pablo
ARG
2505
3.5
15.0

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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